In the Garden: Don’t call it a comeback!


Last summer, an old friend came by my apartment for the first time. He noticed how many plants I had around the house and how healthy they looked … And then he saw my orchid.

“I guess you’re letting this one die,” he said, gesturing toward the plant.

“No!” I insisted. “This guy’s gonna come back!”

True, it was looking sad — almost stalk-less. But it had managed to grow a few new leaves and then there were the green(ish) roots.

Fast forward six months and, voila! The little green stalk that could began showing signs of spring. Then came the buds and then, last week, BAM! A flower!

Oh, of all the orchids I’ve loved before (and for which my love could not revive), this bud’s for you!

In my little, fast-paced and overly dramatic mind, I’m thinking, maybe this is a sign! Maybe new things I previously couldn’t get off the ground/get out the door/or get a handle on will suddenly start moving forward again or even for the first time.

Or then maybe it’s a lot simpler than that … Maybe I’ve just become mature and mindful enough to pay attention to what plants need. Either that, or this is a particularly persevering plant. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I was so stoked when buds began to form on what had been a sad little green stalk.

plant being watered

I am not sure what one is supposed to do with orchids, but I hose mine down each week like a tropical storm is passing by …

draining orchid

And then I let the bottom sit up on something until it completely drains, before putting back on the “shelf,” which, in this case, is actually a bamboo bread box.

Photos and Poetry, Cont.: For the birds


Hummingbirds remind me of my late mother. They’re small, beautiful and extremely quick — alive and abuzz with energy.

I shot this photo over the summer and have been meaning to post it ever since. It’s not the most technically superb of images, but I was proud just to have snapped a clear view of one of these little birds.

Humming Bird

I can imagine, in some otherworld
Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.
Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.
I believe there were no flowers, then,
In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.
Probably he was big
As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.
We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,
Luckily for us.

โ€”D.H. Lawrence

Spring: More than a feeling


How amazing that, hovering right over our heads on the side of a busy street, spring is making magic? For all the glorious architectural creations of bygone generations and other beautiful manmade wonders, I still think the blooming of a flower is the most amazing thing.

Snapped the photo above after taking a walking tour of my neighborhood with SF City Guides. I’ve lived in Noe Valleyย for less than a year, but I’ve been coming to visit for almost a decade and figured it was time to learn about the truth behind its many charms.

You can see more photos from my tour on Flickr.

Once again, I am part of a gentrifying sweep, moving an old working-class neighborhood with an appealing low skyline into the ranks of the less affordable. This reminds me of my old Brooklyn neighborhood, Cobble Hill; so do all the cute boutiques, eateries and baby strollers.

But … It was great to have my eyes opened to all the architectural details they would normally gloss over. And now I can proudly distinguish a Stick House from a Queen Anne or an Edwardian. One sad note is that Nelly Street was once Orient Street, but they changed the name during World War II. People are silly, aren’t they? But whoever Nelly was, I am sure she was happy to get her own street.

Tours by SF City Guides are free and happening all the time, all around the city (schedule). And you can catch the latest buzz about lovely Noe Valley on this fun local blog,